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Minnesota still the leader in ACT scores

Another GOP candidate for governor; half of state’s Patch news sites may close; weather lessens lake milfoil; alleged extortion plot faulty; snake univited suburban guest; and more.

We’re still No. 1! … And in something that actually matters. Anthony Lonetree of the Strib says: “For an eighth consecutive year, Minnesota can lay claim to being best in the nation in the ACT college admissions test. State seniors again posted higher scores than those in other states in which at least half of students took the exam. Progress was made, too, in the percentage of state graduates deemed college-ready in each of the four subject areas being tested.”

Only 35 and already a perennial candidate. The Duluth News Tribune reports: “Rob Farnsworth, a 35-year-old special-education teacher from Hibbing, announced today that he will seek office as Minnesota’s next governor. He said he intends to seek the GOP endorsement. This will be Farnsworth’s second run for political office. In 2010, he sought his party’s endorsement to run against then-U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, but Farnsworth stepped aside when Chip Cravaack received the Republican nod. … Farnsworth described his motivation to run as governor as follows: ‘I have three children under the age of five. Under the current leadership, we are going to leave them a state that provides less opportunity than the Minnesota I grew up in. We can truly reform education to teach kids what they will actually use and have them ready for life. We can provide services at the local level. I have the conviction that Minnesota can and should be the place that the rest of the nation looks to as an example of how things are done right.’ ”  … He might need something in there about “protecting our freedoms.”

Look at it this way —they lasted at least a year longer than the so-called experts predicted. Nick Woltman of the PiPress says: “Half of Minnesota’s hyperlocal Patch news websites will be shuttered if they are unable to find other media organizations to partner with by Oct. 15, according to an email from one of the company’s regional editors. Kevira Voegele, associate regional editor for Minnesota, emailed staffers over the weekend to inform them that 13 of the state’s 25 Patches would need to land a partner — a media organization that would assume some responsibility for their operations — or face closure within 60 days. On Friday, Patch’s parent company, AOL, closed 142 Patch sites and laid off about 350 employees. Although none of Minnesota’s Patches were immediately shuttered, two members of its Minnesota news staff were laid off, along with its entire five-person Minnesota advertising sales staff, Voegele wrote in the email.”

One spring weather upside … Bill McAuliffe of the Strib says: “A cool, wet spring and early summer brought a surprising benefit to much of Minnesota: less milfoil on lakes. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was able to mow and harvest the clingy, stringy invasive species from city lakes with just one mower this season, after expecting to need two, said Rachael Crabb, water quality supervisor for the board.”

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This guy seems to have misunderstood a key facet of “Fargo” … The AP reports: “A northwestern Minnesota man is accused of trying to extort $500,000 from a former neighbor by leaving a letter in his mailbox threatening to kill him and his family if he did not comply with demands to deliver the cash in three roadside installments. Gerald Sunsdahl, 52, of Thief River Falls, has been charged in Pennington County with making terroristic threats and attempted coercion. Two pages of a handwritten, misspelled letter were left in the neighbor’s mailbox demanding the money be left at a certain mile marker along a specific highway or the neighbor and his relatives would be killed. ‘We are asking For 500,000 Thousand dollor in cash. We have stacked out your place for 3 months. We got your house Buged We can hear you AT ALL Time’s.’ “

The GleanHe has a couple of rivals though … Justin Glawe of the Bemidji Pioneer reports: “Two men were arrested with more than 400 grams of marijuana and 30 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, both hidden in a banjo case, in a Burger King parking lot Saturday night, according to police. Darwin Lee Seeger, 27, and James Daniel Brennan, 20, were both arraigned on fifth-degree drug possession charges in Beltrami District Court on Monday. … The pair were arrested about 11 p.m. Saturday after an employee of Burger King … called police, according to a criminal complaint … Seeger and Brennan were drinking beer in a turquoise Geo Tracker in the restaurant’s drive-through, the employee reported. When police arrived, Seeger, in order to search for his driver’s license, handed his beer to an officer with the Bemidji Police Department, the complaint stated. Police said Brennan was also drinking beer. When the officer told Seeger it was illegal to drink and drive, he ‘appeared surprised,’ according to the complaint. Seeger then gave permission for a search of the car.”

MPR’s Daily Circuit surveyed listeners for their aversion to certain (SFW) words and dared them to use them in a sentence. “What’s the grossest sentence you can craft from the lexicon below, or from the comments at the bottom of this page?

An example might be: “I rode the funicular to the fecund clematis patch.”
[A sample of] OFFENSIVE WORDS, AS LISTED BY OUR GUESTS AND LISTENERS:
Aficionado … Attenuate … Boil … Bois de Boulogne … Bucolic … Catheter … Clammy … Clematis … Cluster … Crisp … Cul-de-sac … Cusp … Fecund … Fiduciary … Flap … Flesh … Flocculate … Funicular.”  The “Bois du Boulogne” offends someone?

Frankly, the thought of it gives me indigestion … Tim Nelson of MPR reports: “Nearly four dozen new foods are being added to this year’s Minnesota State Fair. The additions announced Wednesday include bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp on a stick, Cajun pork rinds, peanut butter and jelly malts, and pork belly sliders, made with thickly cut bacon. Selections also include chocolate chili ice cream, deep-fried bread pudding and deep-fried olives, a grilled glazed doughnut, and macaroni and cheese with lobster.” … Oh, wait a minute. Did he say mac and cheese with lobster?

“Say, honey, can you get this big stick off the deck?”  Mary Divine of the PiPress reports: “Paul Kiolbasa stepped onto the deck about 5 a.m. and thought he was seeing a wet towel or a stick. As soon as he touched it, he knew it was a snake, Camille Kiolbasa said. ‘He could not believe what he was seeing,’ said Kiolbasa, development director for St. Croix Catholic School. ‘He came and woke me up and said: ‘There’s a python on our deck.’ I said, ‘This is not funny.’ He said, “I am not kidding. You’ve got to come see it.” ’ Sarah Richard, adoption chairwoman for the Minnesota Herpetological Society, was called to the scene and was able to remove the reptile. Richard put the boa constrictor in a cotton bag and took it to an undisclosed location. Richard said she expects the owner will not come forward to claim the snake and said it would likely be adopted within the society.”